Broadway shed some heavy weight last week as two ballyhooed musicals from last spring, Bandstand and Groundhog Day, departed, leaving about $30 million in blood – well, red ink – on the floor. And yet the week was a good one, overall, in terms of box office receipts, which were up $3 million over the week before.
One reason was a last-chance rush to see those two shows, the former an original musical set in Cleveland after WWII, the latter an adaptation of the Bill Murray comedy: Bandstand was up $217.7K to $757.4K at the Shubert Organization’s Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, three-quarters of its $1 million gross potential. Groundhog Day gained $204K at Jujamcyn Theatres’ August Wilson, reaching $892.5K, 68 percent of its $1.3 million gross potential.
The other reason for the bump can be explained in two words: Bette Midler. She returned to Hello, Dolly! at the Shubert,after a one-week vacation, and the ticket buyers came back as well: The revival was up $1.4 million to a shade over $2.3 million, setting a record for the Shuberts’ flagship at nearly 27 percent above its gross potential.
The five top-grossing shows were:
• Hamilton ($2.93 million at the Nederlander Organization’s Richard Rodgers; $272.72 average ticket)
• Hello, Dolly! ($2.33 million at the Shubert; $199.19)
• The Lion King ($1.8 million at the Nederlanders’ Minskoff; $132.83)
• Dear Evan Hansen ($1.66 million at the Shuberts’ Music Box; $209.20)
• Wicked ($1.5 million at the Nederlanders’ Gershwin; $102.63)
Anastasia, at the Shuberts’ Broadhurst , added $59K to the till, finishing the week at $868.8K, 76.5 percent of gross potential at $96.32 average price per ticket. Beautiful, at the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Stephen Sondheim, gained almost $100k, ringing up $907K, or a bit over 75 percent of potential at an average ticket price of $112.93. Come From Away, at the Shuberts’ Gerald Schoenfeld, was up $28K to $1.3 million, average price $152.19. Waitress, at the Nederlanders’ Brooks Atkinson, was up $103.7K to $696.7K, 68 percent of potential at a $91.16 average ticket price.
Week 17 of the 2017-18 Broadway season saw ticket sales of $26.6 million for 28 shows, up 13 percent, from Week 16’s $23.6 million, according to the trade group Broadway League. Average paid admission hit $111.76, up from $107.11.